How to avoid biggest mistakes when migrating data to Cloud

| December 12, 2019

The ultimate goal of every business is to maximize profit.

There are, however, several factors that can hinder the achievement of this goal—some of which are the costs of operation and efficiency.

These factors are key and if you want to maximize your profit, you might want to pay close attention to them.

Ensuring that your cost of operation is minimized to the lowest point as well as ensuring high efficiency are great ways of maximizing profits.

The Cloud environment improves performance

Migrating your business data, applications or other business elements to a cloud computing environment is one of the most effective and efficient ways to achieve cutting down the costs of operation and ensuring high efficiency.

It also allows flexibility and helps improve performance—which is also vital to maximizing profit.

However, regardless of how beneficial this can be, it can also cause great damage to your business if the migration process isn’t carried out effectively and efficiently.

You may end up losing vital data, opening your business up to threats and dissipating resources.

Failing to plan is planning to fail—“refuse to prepare, prepare to fail”.

It is therefore imperative to ensure that mistakes are minimized—if possible eliminated. This can hardly be achieved without proper preparation.

Migrating your data to the cloud can be more arduous than you think and can even shatter your operations drastically.

It will take adequate planning and preparation to achieve a successful migration.

What to consider before migrating to the Cloud

Here, we will focus on how to effectively prepare and avoid some mistakes that can cause you fortunes when migrating data to the cloud.

1. Know your current infrastructure

First and foremost, you need to understand the current state of your business infrastructure.

Perform an intensive assessment of your tech stack to identify your resources and have an overview of what your needs are.

Taking into account the current data storage and your operation needs, which aspect of your infrastructure can be moved to the cloud?

According to Stuart Selbst, “cloud is for everyone, but not for everything”.

2. Enlighten yourself about the Cloud

Migrating your data to the cloud is more complex than you think. It is therefore important that you do in-depth research on it.

Knowing how the cloud works is vital when it comes to deciding on the migration strategy.

Migrating your operations to the cloud doesn’t just give you scalability, security and isn’t just cost-effective.

It gives you access to other technological advancements such as machine to machine (M2M) communication or Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) that can be incorporated into your business operations.

Having in-depth knowledge about other technological advancements associated with the cloud can help you make an informed decision as far as your migration strategy is concerned.

That’s why you must do due diligence in knowing all you can about the cloud and how can it benefit your business specifically.

3. Know potential risks

Regardless of the numerous benefits that cloud migration gives, there are likewise potential threats—such as data losses, data breach, data gravity, amongst others—that it can expose your business to.

These risks can slow down the migration process and even shatter your business’ operation.

Without carefully analyzing the risks you are likely to face, you are like a blind man trying to cross the road—you may end up being crushed.

It’s therefore prudent that you do thorough research to identify these potential risks.

With enough knowledge of these risks, you can set up defense mechanisms to mitigate them should they pop up in the process.

4. Perform cost-benefit analysis

What’s the ROI for your business for migrating data to the cloud?

Cost-benefit analysis will help you weigh the costs associated with data migration against its benefits to ascertain whether it’s worth pursuing.

Regardless of how beneficial migrating to the cloud is, these benefits will only mean something to you if it yields returns in the long run.

It is, therefore, necessary that you consider the costs associated with the entire process.

Take the following factors into account:

  • The cost of the migration execution itself—data movement, apps integration and trials, services of experts, amongst others.
  • The cost of the risk management systemyou will implement to mitigate the potential risks.
  • The cost of training and preparing your staff.
  • Associated costs such as the cost of servers, storage devices, networks, after-costs, amongst others.

Now with the costs in mind, evaluate the various benefits you stand to derive and ask yourself one simple question; is it worth it?

You must understand that the cloud regardless of how important it is to you, may not be a good idea for you if the cost far outweighs the benefits.

As stated earlier, the cloud is good for everyone, but not for everything.

5. Your migration strategy

One of the pivotal factors that account for the successful migration of data to the cloud and even the success of a business is a well-designed strategy.

A defective strategy can result in cloud migration failure.

Your strategy is your plan of action—the blueprint that guides the entire migration process.

  • What: This is where you identify the workloads to move to the cloud.
    Which part of your business should you move to the cloud? You may not necessarily have to move all your data to the cloud. Determine what will be more complex to move and what will be easier to move. Decide on whether you will move all at once or in bits. Moving less complicated workloads first is easy to accomplish and brings some level of satisfaction. It also makes the process a bit smoother.
  • Where: After you have identified the applications you want to move, you must examine the platform you are migrating to. Some factors you should consider in choosing your preferred platform are how much it will cost, level of security, and compatibility.
  • How: Knowing what to migrate and where to migrate to without knowing how to migrate can frustrate the process. You must determine the most effective way to move.

6. Staff Expertise

You have done all there is to do.

You have a well-structured risk management system to mitigate potential threats, a perfect strategy, and a well-designed plan.

You have also done all your analysis and background checks and now you are ready to kick start.

Well, the processes aren’t going to be carried out and managed by robots, are they?

For a successful migration process, you certainly can’t leave out your staff. As to whether moving to the cloud will yield expected results or not largely depends on your staff.

You, therefore, have to examine your staff.

Find out where training is needed and ensure you provide it.

Ensuring that your staff are equipped with the necessary skills is key. Investing in your staff will in the long run benefit you greatly.

It is also important that you know who to assign to which task as far as the pre-migration, migration period and post-migration are concerned.

7. Have defined KPIs

Last but not least, having defined Key Performance Indicators is also another important factor to consider before beginning the migration process.

These are the ways through which you can ascertain the performance of the cloud.

Whether or not the cloud is functioning as expected or yielding the desired results is determined by the performance indicators you put in place.

Without KPIs, you are like a blind man watering a garden. You don’t know which area needs attention.

Knowing the progress of the cloud is very important as it helps you know which area needs to be worked on, replaced or shutdown.

Some industries benefiting from the Cloud

The cloud has earned a remarkable name for itself and acceptance in almost every industry you can think of.

It has become a pivotal force in the world of technology today yielding plenitude of opportunities.

You can’t talk of technology without one way or the other, referring to the cloud.

Below are a few of the industries that are taking advantage of it.

  • The Retail Industry: cloud changed all aspects of retail, from inventory management to customer engagement. The whole supply chain is optimized with cloud-based platforms and data they provide. Companies like 1-800-Flowers, Walgreens, Bernhardt Furniture, Kroger and StockX are some of the retailers benefiting from the cloud.
  • The Hospitality Industry: similar to retailers, hoteliers can optimize their marketing campaigns, internal management processes, and other aspects thanks to the cloud. A lot of businesses in this industry including HotelTonight, Bali Taman Sari Hotels Group, and Wyndham Hotel Group are benefiting greatly from the cloud.
  • The Manufacturing Industry: this is one of the industries that has benefited a great deal from the cloud. Industry 4.0. is tied to the emergence of smart factories, optimized productions, and cooperation of robots and humans. Some of the companies under this category that are having their bite the cloud are FloraCraft, Shape Corp, Avon Gear, Ralco Industries and Quatro Composites.
  • The Financial and Banking Industry: banks require stronger security protocols and specialized cloud solutions, but they are dealing with enormous amounts of data, where cloud solutions help remove human error. Some of the financial institutions are The Hartford, Capital One, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, and American Express GBT.
  • The Education Industry: schools are leveraging cloud systems through data management, asset management, and other solutions. Universities such asJacksonville State University, Cornell University, University of Oxford and Pearson are a few of the institutions under this category that are greatly benefiting from the cloud.

Final Thoughts

Although adopting the cloud can give a tremendous breakthrough to your business, but you must understand that it can also be the damaging factor if the process isn’t carried out effectively.

It is therefore critical that you avoid making mistakesthat can cause your doom.